Translate

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Barack Obama, President of Iran? Freudian slip?



The above  was taken from Israel's Channel 2 broadcast Saturday night . It says  Barack Obama, President of Iran.


The Times of Israel is now reporting on the mistake as well
Network labels Obama ‘president of Iran’

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Israel analysts shocked by Obama’s comments on sanctions, S-300 supply

‘This is the new America. We had better get used to it,’ says TV commentator after president leaves door open to Iran’s sanctions demand, defends Putin’s missile sale




 

Israeli analysts expressed shock and amazement Friday night at US President Barack Obama’s stated openness to Iran’s demand for the immediate lifting of all economic sanctions, and his defense of Russia’s agreement to supply a sophisticated air defense system to Iran.

There was no immediate official Israeli response to the president’s comments, which were made after the start of Shabbat in Israel, when politicians generally do not work.

 “Jaws dropped” around the studio, said the Channel 10 News diplomatic commentator Ben Caspit, as news broke of Obama’s declared empathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to supply Tehran with the S-300 missile defense system.

“Obama is something else,” Caspit added. “He’s decided to take America out of the wars…”
The station’s news anchor, Alon Ben David, chipped in, “He’s amazed that the Russians honored an agreement with him [for this long]? That’s what is astonishing.”

Responded Caspit, “This is the new America. We had better get used to it.”

Channel 10 also quoted unnamed senior Israeli diplomatic officials saying the prospect of Israel derailing the deal taking shape in US-led talks with Iran on its nuclear program was now zero. “The Iran issue is finished,” the officials were quoted saying.

President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 17, 2015. (photo credit: AP Photo/J. David Ake)

 In Washington earlier on Friday, Obama said he was surprised that Russia’s suspension of missile sales to Iran had “held this long.”

Obama noted that Putin had previously suspended the sale “at our request. I am frankly surprised that it held this long, given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has furiously protested the planned supply of the advanced systems, and phoned Putin this week to try to persuade him to reconsider, but was rebuffed. Israel fears the S-300s would complicate any military intervention as a last resort to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive. It also fears Iran could supply the missile defense systems to Syria or Hezbollah, diluting Israel’s air supremacy over Syria and Lebanon.


A Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system on display at an undisclosed location in Russia (photo credit: AP)



Obama on Friday also left open the door to “creative negotiations” in response to Iran’s demand that punishing sanctions be immediately lifted as part of a nuclear deal, even though the US has said the framework agreement reached in Lausanne earlier this month calls for the penalties to be removed over time.

Asked whether he would definitively rule out lifting sanctions at once as part of a final deal aimed at keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Obama said he didn’t want to get ahead of negotiators in how to work through the potential sticking point. He said his main concern is making sure that if Iran violates an agreement, sanctions can quickly be reinstated — the so-called “snap back” provision.

“How sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that,” Obama said. He said part of the job for Secretary of State John Kerry and the representatives of five other nations working to reach a final deal with Iran by June 30 “is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani insisted last week that they would not sign a deal unless all sanctions are lifted right after an agreement is signed. Obama initially portrayed their comments as a reflection of internal political pressure, while pointing out that the framework agreement provides for sanctions to be phased out only once international monitors verify that Tehran is abiding by the limitations.


***


This is completely insane. Obama’s foreign policy has run amok. Congress should impeach President Obama on Iran now! 

The time for half measures is over.   The Congressional oversight bill on Iran deal that the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the other day and which will be passed by the Senate is too little too late.  Obama’s foreign policy has become a clear and present to the US and the rest the world and should be stopped by Congress by impeaching the President.   

Enabling Iran's Nuclear Program while Vowing to Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons


ARTICLE IV

FRAUD ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bibi- Vindicated, validated, not yet victorious

It would be mean-spirited and small-minded not to credit the recent assertive and muscular attitude of US lawmakers toward the administration, to the impact of Netanyahu’s address to Congress.



I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal. – Isaac “Buji” Herzog to Jeffrey Goldberg, Saban Forum, December 2014 

For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests – and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability...
Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, “The Iran Deal and Its Consequences,” The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2015


As more and more emerges as to what we know – and what we don’t know – about the deal being brewed by the Obama administration with Tehran’s theocracy on its nuclear program, the more mindlessly moronic the pre-election platitudes of the former (and probably, the future) head of Israel’s opposition appear to be.

Merited mistrust
This disturbing disconnect with reality is starkly reflected in the dramatic developments – grossly under-reported by the Israeli media – in the last few days in the US Congress. For, in striking contrast to Herzog’s credulous naiveté, it seems that a solid majority of US legislators harbor grave doubts as to Obama’s ability to get a good deal.

This sense of distrust was not confined to Republican lawmakers, as underscored by the unanimous bipartisan vote on Tuesday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a bill to give Congress a voice on the planned nuclear agreement with Iran, something that the White House had hitherto vigorously opposed.

Under the headline “Obama yields...” the normally staunchly Obama-philic New York Times dubbed the vote a “rare unanimous agreement.”

Bluntly, it observed: “An unusual alliance of Republican opponents of the nuclear deal and some of Mr. Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters demanded a congressional role as international negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30... Republicans — and many Democrats — said the president simply got overrun.”

A CNN report echoed this view: “After months of the White House fighting to keep lawmakers out of the Iran nuclear negotiations, today Congress forc[ed] its way in. Republicans and Democrats united behind a... bill giving lawmakers oversight over any final agreement.”

More on mistrust 
The Washington Post, not known for its anti-Obama positions, succinctly conveyed the unease felt by growing numbers in the president’s party. Following Tuesday’s vote it wrote: “One key Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, Christopher A. Coons (Del.), said the administration’s effort to keep the negotiations away from Capitol Hill ‘goes against, in a gut sense, the view that many in Congress have, that our constitutional framework imagines congressional relevance to the conduct of foreign policy.’” Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, who served as a bridge between the White House, deemed legislative oversight “a congressional prerogative,” adding, “We are the ones who imposed sanctions; we’re the ones who are going to take [them] off.” He told the Times: “We have to be involved here... Only Congress can change or permanently modify the sanctions regime.”

In a video report, the Times’ Emily Hager notes that “... all sides recognize that only congress can permanently remove Iran’s sanctions,” and expresses the gnawing doubts raised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his address last month to Congress as to the “sunset clause” included in the emerging agreement: “Americans are concerned... once the deal has expired in 10 years, will Iran run a peaceful civil nuclear program or begin building bombs?”

‘Trust is the last thing we should do…’ 
Former Obama adviser on the Persian Gulf region Dennis Ross is unequivocal on this. In response to the question Hager posed, he responded: “... their track record suggests that the last thing we should be doing is trusting them.”

With considerable understatement, Ross cautioned: “They are very active in terms of trying to change the balance of power in the region,” and somewhat more trenchantly, asked, “What happens when they are not under sanctions and they are continuing to act this way and they have more resources to do that?” What indeed? But more on that later.

Getting back to the political arm-wrestling between the White House and Congress, there appears to be consensus among authoritative pundits that the administration had its hand forced by a rising tide of sentiment against both the reported substance of the deal and the high-handed manner in which it was trying to railroad it through, despite numerous concerns. This view was not confined to compulsive, kneejerk Obama detractors.

Thus under the heading “In setback, Obama concedes Congress role on Iran deal,” Reuters political correspondent Patricia Zengerle wrote: “Washington... has for months voiced concern that Congress could fatally undermine a deal before a June 30 deadline for a final pact. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker, who wrote the bill, said the White House had agreed to go along with the bill only after it was clear there was strong Democratic support.”

Fear of veto-proof opposition 
Reuters cited a buoyant Corker as saying: “That change occurred only when they saw how many senators were going to vote for this,” adding “Bipartisan support for the bill had grown in recent weeks to near the 67 votes needed to override any presidential veto.”

CNN’s Ted Barrett remarked that “faced with what looks increasingly like a vetoproof majority in the Senate, today the White House said the bill, [which it had previously vigorously opposed] appeared to... merit the president’s signature.”

His CNN colleague Athena Jones, when asked to gauge the feasibility of such a veto, appraised: “Well, it certainly looks as though they are moving to the point where they have those 67 votes.” She added: “Some of the Democrats who supported this bill are just saying that Congress has a right and an obligation to weigh in on a deal as important as this.”

In similar vein, Politico, considered to have a distinct liberal bias, reported: “After months of lobbying against the bill, the administration acknowledged it couldn’t stop it... The administration’s about-face came after it was clear that a veto-proof majority, including many Democrats, will support the legislation.”

Long, arduous road ahead
Of course the fight is still far from over.

The road to defanging a nuclear-bent Iran is still long and arduous. As a Wall Street Journal editorial, “Obama’s One-Man Nuclear Deal,” noted this week, the significance of Tuesday’s vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is more declarative than operative, more symbolic than substantive.

It still leaves Obama with considerable ability to out-maneuver and circumvent congressional intervention and allow him to push through some accord with Tehran, however fatally flawed.

It is not, however, a mere gesture devoid of any value. Far from it.

First, it shows that bipartisan measures can be taken despite “Obama’s furious resistance”; second, it shows that veto-proof majorities are distinctly plausible on the Iranian issue; and third, as the editorial put it, “the Iranians [are]... on notice that the United States isn’t run by a single supreme leader.”

The practical significance of these issues should not be belittled, especially given the rising tide of sentiment against the emerging pact, particularly among Democrats, even if troubling doubts and growing skepticism have yet to become full-blooded opposition.

Nurturing these doubts and cultivating that skepticism should be one of the prime objectives of Israeli foreign policy, in general, and of its public diplomacy, in particular.

Symbiosis between symbolism, shifting sentiment & substance

In politics, there is a definite and discernible symbiosis between symbolism, sentiment and substantive political action.

The opponents of the deal must harness this chain of symbolism and sentiment- shift to impact substantive policy, by underlining how incompetent and counterproductive the current endeavor has been.

They must use this to generate resistance to its continuation in its current mode, and introduce a paradigm shift into its conduct.

It would be difficult to find a more telling illustration of how the Iranians have outfoxed their American interlocutors than that provided by the Kissinger and Shultz article cited above. The two former secretaries of state lament: “Mixing shrewd diplomacy with open defiance of UN resolutions, Iran has gradually turned the negotiation on its head.

Iran’s centrifuges have multiplied from about 100 at the beginning of the negotiation to almost 20,000 today. Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”

In a January 29 appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kissinger bemoaned how the US-led international effort has been stymied by Iranian resolve and resourcefulness: “Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option. They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability through an agreement that sets a hypothetical limit of one year on an assumed breakout. The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.”

Restoring strategic clarity
There are numerous reasons why the proposed deal with Iran would be unworkable and lead either to serious kinetic US entanglements, involving an Iran with greatly enhanced capabilities, both economic and military, or to ignominious US surrender.

For example, Kissinger and Shultz make a compelling case for why ongoing inspections and enforcement over a period of a decade, “enforcing compliance, week after week,” will be untenable. They warn: “In a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. Any report of a violation is likely to prompt debate over its significance – or even calls for new talks with Tehran to explore the issue.”

It was coercive measures – biting sanctions – and not persuasive negotiating skills that brought Iran to the table. But sanctions alone will not bring Iran to forgo its nuclear ambitions. That will be achieved only by a credible threat of military action – which Obama has effectively taken of the table by informing the world that the current proposal must be embraced, since the alternative is war.

On this Kissinger and Shultz remark: “The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran. While Iran treated the mere fact of its willingness to negotiate as a concession, the West has felt compelled to break every deadlock with a new proposal.”

They warn: Until clarity on an American strategic political concept is reached, the projected nuclear agreement will reinforce, not resolve, the world’s challenges in the region.

Indeed it will.

Vindicated, validated, not yet victorious
The events in Washington in the past few weeks have done much to vindicate and validate Benyamin Netanyahu’s approach to the Iranian issue. For it would be mean-spirited and small-minded not to credit the recent more assertive and muscular attitude of US lawmakers toward the administration, in large measure, to the impact of his rousing March 3 address to Congress – despite massive pressures to call it off.

Further, these developments show how uninformed/misinformed his detractors were when they berated him for resisting these pressures – scornfully but speciously alleging that the Congress cannot affect US foreign policy, since this is the exclusive prerogative of the president, which it clearly is not.

One can only wonder, with a keen sense of regret, how much more effective his address would have been if, at least on the Iranian issue, his domestic rivals had put country above party and personal ambition, and rallied behind his valiant effort – thus preventing the administration from exploiting political rifts in Israel to blunt his appeal.

Netanyahu deserves considerable praise for his resolve on the Iran issue. (Oh that he would demonstrate similar resolve on the Palestinian front.) But although his actions have largely been vindicated and his approach validated, he is yet to be victorious in preventing the disastrous deal being hatched in Lausanne.

To achieve such victory he must, without delay, mount an aggressive, adequately funded campaign to sway concerned but still hesitant US lawmakers that in their hands lies the most fateful decision for humanity since the 1930s, when the world paid a horrendous price in a doomed attempt to appease tyranny.

Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.org) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (www.
strategicisrael.org)

Tom Cotton: Obama's Iran Deal May Lead to Nuclear War



By  JEFFREY GOLDBERG



 

Tom Cotton strikes me as the most interesting Senate freshman for any number of reasons, not least of which is his uncanny ability to draw attention to himself, most notably when he convinced 46 of his Republican colleagues to sign an open letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In the letter, Cotton, the extremely junior senator from Arkansas—he's the youngest member of the Senate, at 37—and his co-signers warned Khamenei that Congress might use its power to overturn or, at the very least, modify whatever agreement the Iranian regime eventually chooses to sign with President Obama and his great-power allies.

The letter made Cotton a hero among those who believe, as he told me in an interview last week, that Obama's deal is not a deal at all, but instead simply a "list of concessions." To his critics, Cotton's decision to argue publicly to a longstanding American adversary that the U.S. president's word is not binding was semi-mutinous or, at a minimum, despicable.

I went to speak to Cotton not only because his letter interested me, but because he is quite obviously positioned to lead the most hawkish wing of the Republican Party. He is exceedingly bright, and blessed with a wonk's mind—I will readily admit that his knowledge of Middle East minutiae is impressive, even if I disagree with much of his analysis. And he is a superior standard-bearer for the confront-Iran-before-it's-too-late faction in the Senate because, as an Iraq combat veteran, he cannot be labeled a chickenhawk.




Jeffrey Goldberg: You’ve argued that an attack on a group of Iranian nuclear sites would not lead to all-out war. It seems to me that an American attack on Iran’s nuclear sites would lead to an indirect response—or a somewhat direct response—by Iran against America’s Gulf allies, or against American facilities in the Gulf, and that an even more certain response would come from Hezbollah in the form of a sustained rocket salvo against Israel. That doesn't seem credible to you?

Senator Tom Cotton: Well, Operation Desert Fox [against Iraqi facilities] in 1998 lasted a number of days. [Former Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister] Ehud Barak just said that he thought it would just take one night.

Goldberg: But I'm talking about the second-order consequences.

Cotton: I've consulted with various senior members of the Israeli government over the years, and they're aware of the possibility that Iran might use Hezbollah, in particular, to retaliate in an asymmetric way for any military strikes, either American or Israeli, and the assessment I've heard from them is that while that is a risk, it is a risk they can manage. This is different from what you might have seen nine years ago during the Hezbollah war in 2006, or even five years ago, when the talk of an Israeli strike was at its peak, in large part because of Iron Dome [an anti-missile system], and also because of the strain that sanctions have put on Iran—its ability to fund these kinds of operations and continue to replenish Hezbollah and their weapon stocks.

Goldberg: OK, that's the Israeli side. What about the response in the Gulf, whether against Gulf allies or against American facilities in Bahrain or Central Command itself in Qatar? These things don't worry you?

Cotton: I think the president is his own worst witness against this proposed course of action. He said in, I would say, almost mocking terms, in reference to the Iranian military over the weekend, that they know they can't challenge us—we spend $600 billion a year on our military, they spend $30 billion a year on theirs. This is correct. Not  only do we have the ability to substantially degrade their nuclear facilities, but we have the capability, along with our Gulf allies, who have increased their military spending by over 50 percent, to largely protect them from any kind of retaliatory air or naval strikes.

Goldberg: Go to the deal. There's nothing in it that's fixable to your mind?

Cotton: Well, there's no deal within the framework, in my opinion. There's a long list of concessions that Iran's leaders continue to dispute they actually made. This framework, as you've written, is only a success within the specific reality they've created. And they created a very narrow and risky reality in which they were focused on getting any kind of deal they could. Now we're to the point where it is considered unrealistic to expect the United States to demand that Iran not engage in terrorism while we’re granting them nuclear concessions. I thought that [Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs] Yuval Steinitz had a good list of proposed changes to the president's proposal, and I don't think you can argue those changes are unrealistic, because all he did was take all the statements that President Obama and John Kerry and [chief U.S. negotiator] Wendy Sherman made at the very outset of these negotiations about stockpiles of enriched uranium, about the past military dimensions of this program, about inspections and so forth. The positions he lists are positions that our government previously held.

Goldberg: If you were president right now, would you not be engaged in this negotiation at all? Would you issue an ultimatum?

Cotton: Let's go back almost two years now, when I was one of 400 members of the House who voted for stronger sanctions against Iran. This is the summer of 2013. Those didn't pass in the Senate because the White House put immense pressure on Senate Democrats not to sponsor it, and Harry Reid didn't bring it to the floor. I certainly would have—if I had been advising the president at the time—gone ahead with those sanctions. I mean, he fought against CISADA sanctions [the Iran sanctions act], ultimately accepting them only when they passed 99-0. But I wouldn't have started down this course of granting concessions to Iran, giving them billions of dollars when in return all we're getting is their willingness to sit at the table. They should be pleading with us to come to the table. And at numerous times through the negotiations, we should have been willing to walk away from the table and put more pressure on Iran

Goldberg: Did the criticism about your open letter to Ayatollah Khamenei resonate with you at all? The idea that you are telling a foreign adversary, ‘Don't trust in our president—the man who's making our foreign policy?’ Did that cause you to ask yourself, 'Maybe I am undermining the executive branch?'

Cotton: No, in part because the letter didn't say that. The letter simply stated indisputable facts of constitutional law, and Iran's leaders needed to hear that message, and they needed to hear it from us. What we did was certainly more measured than what past senators had done, in conciliating with people like Manuel Noriega, Bashar al-Assad, or Leonid Brezhnev. The difference is we openly stood up to a dictator, and in a lot of those past precedents, Senate Democrats privately conciliated and coddled dictators.

Goldberg: Why do you think your general outlook is so disparaged, even in parts of the Republican Party? I don't mean the Rand Paul wing, even. I mean, I hear from Republicans who are wary of going down a path that would lead to another Middle East war. Or let me put this another way: Do you believe that the country is tired of these sorts of wars and of this kind of engagement?

Cotton: I think that Americans—and this is not true just now, but over the years—are not fundamentally opposed to war. They're fundamentally opposed to losing wars. And that's one reason why President Bush lost support for the Iraq War in the period of 2004 to 2006.

Goldberg: Do we have to win wars quickly to make them popular?

Cotton: I don't think we have to win quickly necessarily, but we have to win. By the time the 2008 election arrived, we had finally won the Iraq War, or we were on the road to winning it. We won starting in the summer of 2007 going into late 2011. Had President Obama, for instance, accepted our commanders' recommendations to keep a small residual force in Iraq, I think the country would have supported that decision. Also, the predictions of so many at the time have now proven correct—that there was a chance that Iraq, absent American forces, would be destabilized, and ultimately now we may end up with more troops in Iraq at the end of this president's tenure than we would have if he had just accepted his commanders' recommendations in 2011 to keep a residual force in place.

In the same way, this president, knowing that Americans don't want to lose a war, and in our most recent experience in Iraq, the war looked to be won, he’s now trying to create what he always accuses his opponents of trying to create: a false choice—'this deal or war.' And he defines war in Iran as 150,000 heavy mechanized troops, not something like Operation Desert Fox.

Goldberg: Let me just come back to this one point. How do you know you're right? The experience of Iraq taught me that once the kinetic piece starts, you just don’t know for sure what’s going to happen. And I don't know that you can predict the response of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to a direct American assault on [the Iranian facilities of] Natanz, Fordow, and Parchin. Maybe they will be intimidated into silence, but maybe they'll lose their minds? Yes, it's a $30-billion defense budget, but they have asymmetric ways of making life miserable for the United States and its allies. So how are you so sure that the response of the Iranians to an attack that would destroy their nuclear infrastructure, at least temporarily, would be limited and/or manageable?

Cotton: Well you never know these things for sure, but I think history provides me precedents. I mean not just, for instance, [the Israeli attack on the Iraqi reactor at] Osirak or the [Syrian nuclear reactor], but also, for instance, in the tanker operations in '87 and '88, when we helped secure free transit in the Persian Gulf. Iran did ultimately pull in its horns to some degree because they realized that Ronald Reagan was serious when he made those promises, when we flagged those vessels. And we do have amazing capability gaps over a country like Iran, as Israel does. We also have the support of allies throughout the region that traditionally have not been as supportive as we might like for operations like these.

Goldberg: What is Obama seeking here, in your mind?

Cotton: Well, I think he clearly wants to have a kind of grand rapprochement with Iran. This goes back to his actions in his earliest days, when he was silent in the face of [Iran's] Green Revolution, and even some of his statements in the campaign.

Goldberg: What's wrong with wanting a grand rapprochement with Iran?

Cotton: I would love to see that happen. As Secretary Schultz and Secretary Kissinger wrote, they've been in government when Iran was an ally, not just of the United States but of Israel. The Iranian people, if you look at their demographics and their level of education, could be a strong source for stability in the Middle East. The problem is they're run by an apocalyptic cult of ayatollahs.

Goldberg: How do you know they're apocalyptic?

Cotton: Their own words.

Goldberg: They seem to respond to incentives unlike, say, North Korea. Obviously, in 2003, when they thought that George W. Bush was pivoting their direction, they ceased doing work on their nuclear program, correct? They do seem to respond to reality.

Cotton: They react to threats that are severe enough. But it would be different if they had nuclear weapons. They refer to Israel as a "one-bomb state," which as you know means that Israel can be annihilated with one bomb. And they know as long as they don't have nuclear weapons that they are susceptible to the United States military, whether it was Reagan's actions in the tanker war or a fear of being next in 2003, as Muammar Qaddafi was at the time. But I think you can't count on that kind of attitude if they were to get nuclear weapons. I also think that Iran is more skillful at playing off of Western delusions than is the Kim regime [in North Korea].

Goldberg: Come back to the grand rapprochement that you talked about. One school of thought holds that President Obama wants to simply create equilibrium in the Middle East that would allow us to actually get out of the Middle East.

Cotton: I think there's something to that, if he wants to try and create a balance of power between Sunni and Shiites and simply exit the Middle East, or at least continue an ill-advised pivot to East Asia. I say ill-advised not because East Asia is not an important part of the world, but because the global superpower can't pivot. You have to be focused everywhere. So I think there's some of that. I mean, I think he believes fundamentally that American strength and leadership in the world has been as much a source of instability and disorder as it has been stability and order.

Goldberg: What are you implying? That he believes that America can be a force for bad as well as good in the world?

Cotton: Yes, that, if America was less of a leader in the world, then the world would probably be a better and more stable place. Unlike President Obama, I would say that I support the long-standing bipartisan post-War belief that American global strength and leadership secures our national-security interests and it also promotes order and stability in the world. And it gives us immense influence in the world, and deters our adversaries and reassures our allies.

Goldberg: Why do you think the Middle East is the way it is today?

Cotton: What do you mean by ‘the way it is?’

Goldberg: State disintegration, Sunni-Shiite proxy wars, chaotic, brutal, shocking violence, no particular hope for democratic development at the moment, and so on. There are two branches to the question. The first is: Is this beyond our control? Are the problems so big that there's nothing we can do about it? And the related question is: Are we equipped with knowledge, willpower, staying power to actually go in and try to create order out of the chaos?

Cotton: I think we can exercise a greater degree of control than we have, although that's not to say that it's simply within our control, of course. It's a large and complicated region with many different influencers and players, but because of American retreat I think we have contributed to the instability there. Take the Islamic State, for instance. If we had maintained a small, residual force in Iraq, I don't think the Islamic State would have risen to power as it has.

Goldberg: Can I take you one step backward and ask this question: If we hadn't ripped the lid off Iraq—in other words, if we had left the Sunni strongman in place—would any of this be happening today?

Cotton: Iraq would have remained a security threat over the last 12 years, because Iraq was a non-stop security threat from the moment Saddam Hussein took power in the 1970s. So it's hard to predict how that security threat would have manifested itself, but there’s no doubt that Iraq would have been an ongoing source of security threats to the United States and our allies and instability in the region. I was in Iraq in the worst period, 2006, but from 2006 to 2008, and especially through 2011, the American military and the government of Iraq made huge strides in making that country a source of stability with a relatively representative government that was seeking pluralistic engagement from all the factions within the government. I'm not saying it was a panacea, but it was much better than it ever had been and than many people thought it could be.

Goldberg: Stay back in 2006. When you were there, did it ever cross your mind, ‘We're in over our heads. What are we doing here? These people hate each other so much that there's nothing we can do to fix this.’ I mean, you were younger then, you didn't have as much exposure to different ideas—

Cotton: I've become more moderate with age.

Goldberg: Tell me what you thought.

Cotton: No, I never thought we were in over our head. I never thought it was hopeless. But I did know that we were losing. I had no doubt about that. I felt it. And I would say almost everyone on the front lines—by which I'd say battalion level or below, most of the people who were really out patrolling—knew it. You know, we didn't have enough troops, we didn't have the right strategy, and we weren't making any progress, which meant we were losing.

Goldberg: Do you think that the mistake—if you even accept the word mistake—of the invasion was getting involved at all, or was it bad planning that brought the U.S. to the near-abyss of 2006?

Cotton: I think it was an underemphasis on security in the early days, in 2003 and 2004. Security is sine qua non. I'd say there was too much focus on second-order steps necessary in that kind of environment, like building governmental structures and promoting economic development, none of which can occur without basic security. We simply didn't have the troops-to-task ratio needed to sustain our presence.

Goldberg: I don't meet that many people these days who think that the problems in Iraq were due to planning issues, study issues, rather than an underlying, faulty premise. And obviously this brings us to the way we think of Iran. We believe we have a limited set of options in Iran because many people in Washington and other places have ruled out the idea of engaging in a kinetic, preemptive strike because of their experience of watching Iraq spin out of control after America intervened in a difficult problem. That's why I find it so interesting that you believe there are answers to these questions.

Cotton: Well I mean, I think the answers were largely found and executed effectively from 2007 to 2011. Again, it's something that many thinkers in the military—not necessarily the highest level—thought in the 2003-2006 timeframe. The ones on the front lines understood. We could hear it from Iraqis. You can imagine what it would be like in an American city if you had a foreign army that was supposed to be providing security that didn't speak your language and came out for six-hour patrols and then went back to base three hours later, when you have someone who did speak your language there saying, 'When they leave, we're going to kill you.' Who are they going to side with? It's the same problem that we have with organized crime in urban areas. So, we saw that, and we saw what was going on and we saw what could go right, and I think that's what happened after the [Iraq troop] surge occurred. You know, it’s important in war that you defeat your enemy and to have your enemy know that he’s been defeated. The heart of the Sunni resistance, which became the heart of al-Qaeda in Iraq, didn't see that.
  
Goldberg: Do you believe there's any condition in which Barack Obama would use force against Iran?

Cotton: I hope there are conditions under which the leaders of Iran and most Middle Eastern leaders think that the United States would take military action against Iran. But Iran does not believe that America has a credible threat of force against them right now. I think that's clear from their behavior. It's also something that senior Arab leaders have communicated directly to me—that very few people, if any, in the Middle East believe that there is a credible threat of force by the United States. I think Iran does fear that Israel may strike them. To the extent that there is daylight between the United States and Israel—to use the president's term from 2009—it makes the threat of Israeli military action less credible in the leaders of Iran's minds. So I do think that there may be some policy objective in trying to create this kind of daylight with the government of Israel, to further dissuade their leadership from taking action if they deem it necessary to their national survival. 

Goldberg
: What conditions do you believe would have to obtain before Barack Obama would use military force against Iran?

Cotton: Right now I'd say they'd have to be very severe. If that Iranian naval fleet mined or otherwise blocked traffic through the Mandeb Strait, I hope that we would take prompt action to reopen it and punish them appropriately. But that's about as severe as it gets in international relations.

Goldberg: Let’s go to the nuclear deal.

Cotton: The list of concessions.

Goldberg: Is that what you call it?

Cotton: It's not a deal.

Goldberg: Well, you wouldn’t agree that the Iranians made tremendous concessions?

Cotton: No.

Goldberg: How could a provisional decision to reduce their stockpile from 10,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms of highly enriched uranium not be understood by you as a concession?

Cotton: It's still unclear when or how they will do that—  

Goldberg: I use the word provisional because we don't know anything about a final deal yet.

Cotton: It's unclear how and when they'll do that. It's unclear how that will relate to the number of centrifuges they'll be able to maintain. And I don't think of almost anything to which they've agreed as much of a concession when, by the terms of their own proposal, President Obama has conceded that Iran will build and develop a nuclear weapon 11 years from today.

Goldberg: I'm willing to see that both sides have domestic constituencies, and they're going to work things the way they work them. But let me get to the—

Cotton: No, I think it's different than just domestic constituencies. President Obama plainly said at the Saban Forum in December 2013 that Iran does not need an underground fortified bunker at Fordow. We have now conceded that they will have centrifuge cascades in that bunker.

Goldberg: Not spinning uranium though.

Cotton: It doesn't really matter what they spin as long as they're developing the technology and the skill sets to do it. I don't think President Obama or anyone on his negotiating team intends to walk back that concession. I don’t see any circumstance under which they will say, 'We insist on the closing of Fordow.' I do, however, see the supreme leader of Iran walking back on virtually everything they're presumed to have agreed to. They did it just last week on exporting their enriched uranium stockpiles to Russia, something that long ago had been conceded.

Goldberg: Let’s say it's June 30, and you’ve won. You and the Republicans and some of the Democrats have managed to kill this deal. What happens on July 1? Does Iran say, 'Screw you all. You can keep sanctions in place but we're going to continue to spin and we're going to move toward breakout.' And so you have a situation in which Iran might have a nuke in six months as opposed to 12 years? How is that a better situation?

Cotton: If they accept the terms of the deal they could be in the same position regardless in one year. They could just cheat on the deal anyway. There is a long and ignominious history of rogue regimes like Iran accepting these deals and immediately starting to cheat, as happened in North Korea, as happened in Iraq. The idea that a one-year breakout time—even if you thought that was technically correct—the idea that all of a sudden you're going to have inspectors catch this in a country the size of Iran, who immediately are able to report back, and then you’re going to develop a consensus in the civilized world, at the [International Atomic Energy Agency] or the UN Security Council, and then you're going to impose sanctions and those sanctions will not have any effect in a year—this is just fanciful, completely fanciful. So I don't think the proposal actually improves the situation that much, and it could ultimately pave the path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon, whether they follow the proposal or violate the proposal.

Goldberg: I don't get the sense that you're in total disagreement with Barack Obama on one point, which is that if there is no deal, the likelihood of a military confrontation as the solution becomes very, very high.

Cotton: Well I think we should try to get a better deal, and one way to try and get a better deal is to show the Iranians that we're serious about getting a better deal.

Goldberg: How would you do that? Let's say you're Wendy Sherman for a day. What do you do?

Cotton: Just take last week. It was reported that President Obama told his negotiators, 'Blow through the deadline, but make it clear that we're willing to walk away.' I don't think that's a result of Barack Obama being inexperienced or incompetent or a bad negotiator. I think it's a reflection of his ideological commitment to get a deal at any cost.

Goldberg: But go to this point: He says that if we don't have a deal, then you, the people who are against the deal, are actually saying that we need a military solution.

Cotton: We’re not saying that. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu did not say that in his joint address [to Congress] and I'm not saying that. I'm saying that we have to be willing and we have to make the leadership of Iran realize that we are willing to take military action.

Goldberg: So you're not advocating for a 1998 Desert Fox-style operation?

Cotton: Iran's leaders need to know that we have both the capability and the willingness to take that kind of action. Unfortunately, when your commander-in-chief draws red lines and then he erases them, that sends a very dangerous signal to allies and adversaries alike.

Goldberg: Let me ask you this: The last nice thing that Benjamin Netanyahu ever said about Barack Obama he said to me, when he praised the deal that removed most of Syria’s chemical weapons. You could see the Iran deal as the same sort of thing: 'You give up this component of your WMD program, and then you, the regime, can remain in power.' From the Israeli perspective, that was not a bad thing—to get rid of the chemical-weapons depots right next door.

Cotton: So it's simply led [the Syrian regime] to more chemical attacks in different form, and it has strengthened Iran's hand and Russia's hand in the region. I mean, it's widely reported that President Obama in his private letter to Khamenei, not his open letter, basically granted Iran a legitimate sphere of interest in Syria, reassuring Iran that our campaign against the Islamic State, meek as it has proven to be, would not endanger Assad continuing in power.

Goldberg: What would you do in Syria right now?

Cotton: I would certainly be taking the fight to the Islamic State more aggressively—

Goldberg: What about to Assad?

Cotton: I'd say that the Islamic State is the more immediate threat, and Syria is their base of power—eastern and southern Syria—and right now, even in Iraq, the operations are too restrained. So I'd be taking the fight to the Islamic State much more aggressively. You know, Syria's a great example of how you need to try to nip these problems in the bud. They never get better with time. If you let these problems fester, then they continue to grow. That's the lesson time and time and time again. Obviously that's the lesson of the 1930s, but if you don't want to go to that example, then just look at what happened in the Balkans in the early 1990s.

Goldberg: Wait, is this the 1930s to you?

Cotton: It's unfair to Neville Chamberlain to compare him to Barack Obama, because Neville Chamberlain's general staff was telling him he couldn't confront Hitler and even fight to a draw—certainly not defeat the German military—until probably 1941 or 1942. He was operating from a position of weakness. With Iran, we negotiated privately in 2012-2013 from a position of strength, not a position of weakness. The secret negotiations in Oman. This ultimately led to the Joint Plan of Action of November 2013. So we were negotiating from a position of strength—not just inherent military strength of the United States compared to Iran, but also from our strategic position.

Goldberg: You obviously don't believe that this deal could have an ameliorating effect on Iran—that it could strengthen the hands of the moderates who want to rejoin the international community in some kind of way.

Cotton: I am skeptical that there are many moderates within the leadership—

Goldberg: You don't consider [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani a moderate?

Cotton: No, and I don't think the students he oppressed in 1999 would consider him a moderate. [Akbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani, you know, a famous moderate, called for the nuclear annihilation of Israel. I don't consider that to be moderate either. I think it's kind of like the search for the vaunted moderates in the Kremlin throughout most of the Cold War, with the exception that we could always count on the Soviet leadership to be concerned about national survival in a way that I don't think we can count on a nuclear-armed Iranian leadership to be solely concerned about national survival.

I would also just say that there are actions over the last two years that have disproved the thesis that there might be these emerging moderates who are ready to take the reins of powers, that Iran can change its behavior as long as the ayatollahs are in power. I mean, just look at what they've done throughout the region. Why would we grant them these concessions? I mean, imagine, if they get a nuclear weapon, they'll have a nuclear umbrella and then that'll be tremendously destabilizing. I think it will probably lead to the detonation of a nuclear device somewhere in the world, if not outright nuclear war. But it could even just lead to greater conventional threats. What would Hezbollah do if their sponsor had a nuclear weapon?

Goldberg: Is it unfair of me to say that if we follow the course that you would have us follow, there is a high likelihood that the president will be facing, within the year, an Iran moving toward breakout, because—what’s the Janis Joplin line?—‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing to lose’? If they don't get their sanctions lifted or they don't get a deal, then they'll just go for breakout. So, is it unfair of me to say that your path would lead us to either total capitulation to a nuclear Iran or a military confrontation with Iran within the next six to 18 months?

Cotton: I think the more likely outcome is a total capitulation because of the proposal that we have made. I also think that military confrontation is possible, although it would be a conventional military confrontation. If we agreed to the kind of proposal the Obama administration has made, then military confrontation may be further off, but it might also be nuclear.

Goldberg: Wait—that’s interesting and clarifying—you actually see the possibility of nuclear military confrontation 10 years down the road if this deal goes through?

Cotton: Twenty years, 10 years, 12 years, who knows? The proposal puts Iran on the path to being a nuclear-arms state, and I think once Iran becomes a nuclear-arms state, this will lead inevitably to some kind of military confrontation. It may not be initially with the United States, but I think that's virtually inevitable.

Goldberg: And so your feeling is, deal with the problem now, before it gets worse?

Cotton: In security matters, this is almost always the case.

Goldberg: And if that means dealing with it militarily, then deal with it militarily?

Cotton: The world probably wishes that Great Britain had rebuilt its defenses and stopped Germany from reoccupying the Rhineland in 1936. Churchill said when Chamberlain came back from Munich, 'You had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will therefore be at war.' And when President Obama likes to say, 'It's this deal or war,' I would dispute that and say, 'It's this deal or a better deal through stronger sanctions and further confrontation with [Iran's] ambitions and aggression in the region.' And if it is military action, I would say it's more like Operation Desert Fox or the tanker war of the 1980s than it is World War II. In the end, I think if we choose to go down the path of this deal, it is likely that we could be facing nuclear war.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Will Iran get on a bomb? Well, 'not on Obama’s watch'

Doesn’t the Lausanne deal pave the way for a nightmarish not-so-distant future in which Iran is nuclear, the Middle East is nuclear and the world order collapses?







Barack Obama is a sophisticated interviewee; the U.S. president knows how to hide his argument’s weak points behind cool curtains of clear, insightful and ostensibly well-balanced words. But my dear friend and distinguished colleague Tom Friedman is an excellent interviewer. Instead of being confrontational and petty, he knows how to wrench far-reaching statements out of his subject.
That’s the origin of a historic scoop that surprisingly seems to have escaped the attention of the U.S. media. “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” the president told his country’s most important journalist; The New York Times also included a video of the interview. I repeat, Obama told Friedman: “Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch.”
Since the Lausanne deal was announced a week ago, it has provoked innumerable worrisome questions. Why is there no similarity between the Farsi and English versions of the text? Why do the Iranians insist that the sanctions will be lifted immediately and that they will be able to continue enriching uranium in high quantities and developing advanced centrifuges without restrictions?
Why, even according to the American version, will the Iranians be able to keep an underground nuclear facility at Fordo and a nuclear reactor at Arak? Why, even according to the American version, is it not clear whether the fissionable material (approximately 10 tons) will be leaving Iran and whether international inspectors will have free access to every site in the country?
And what’s supposed to happen 10 years from now? Don’t we want to live after 2025? Doesn’t the Lausanne deal pave the way for a nightmarish not-so-distant future in which Iran is nuclear, the Middle East is nuclear and the world order collapses?
The 15 words that Obama said to Friedman turn the question marks into exclamation marks. And they were uttered in his own voice as the camera whirled: “I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch.” In other words, the man leading a hair-raising historic adventure says he’s committing that Iran will not become nuclear before January 20, 2017.
It’s not the 21st century that the president is trying to save. It’s not the next 21 years that the president is promising to stabilize. All Obama is promising is that in the next 21 months Iran will not produce or assemble its first nuclear bomb.
What are Israelis supposed to do with such a short-term commitment by the president? And what are the Saudis, Egyptians, Turks, Jordanians and Emiratis supposed to think? And responsible Europeans? And far-sighted Americans?
The Obama-Friedman interview doesn’t set off one alarm bell, it sets off a thousand. And when we add all the fateful questions about the Lausanne agreement, we get a strong feeling that something very dire is happening right before our eyes. We begin to suspect that the Obama-Khamenei agreement will not prevent Iran from going nuclear, but will only postpone the achievement by a few years.
The next 80 days are critical. History is watching us all closely. Where did we stand, what did we say and what did we do when the most important decision of our time was made? There will be no forgiveness for our mistakes. There will be no pardon for weakness, apathy or pettiness. The ordinary politics of left versus right is no longer relevant, nor is the love for Obama and hatred of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or vice versa.
This is a time of trouble for Jacob — a time of trouble for every Israeli, Arab, European and American who favors stability and sanity. In the balance is the world in which our children will live or die.
***

 You know that we are really in trouble when even Ha’aretz agrees.  Three years ago Ari Shavit wrote a series of articles in Ha’aretz on the Iranian threat in which he interviewed Israeli politicians, but failed to interview a single scholar of Islam. Now he woke up again to observe the utterly predictable   

Ari Shavit - The pot calling the kettle black . Why doesn’t Ari Shavit interview Bernard Lewis, Raphael Israeli or Matthias Kuntzel?

Moshe Ya’alon: They are completely unlike the former Soviet Union


The checks and balances are finally beginning to work! About time!



14 April 2015

Hon. Tom Cotton
United States Senate
B-33 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Cotton:

            Each passing day seems to bring new and worrying revelations about the “framework agreement” that President Obama claims to have achieved with the Islamic Republic of Iran and five other nations.  This “deal” is supposed to determine future restrictions on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  The cumulative effect of these insights is a powerful affirmation of the effort you and forty-six of your Senate colleagues made last month to put the mullahs on notice that any such deal would require congressional assent.  We write to commend you for taking this important initiative.

In particular, we want to thank you for the American civics lesson you gave the Iranian leaders with this cautionary note:  “…We will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.  The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”  Your courageous warning bespoke a patriotic commitment to our Constitution and its separation of powers that is deeply appreciated.

Given the chimerical nature of the so-called framework agreement – which is, at the moment, being characterized in wildly different ways by the various parties, raising profound uncertainty about the nature and extent of the commitments Iran is making, their actual value in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons program, the timing and extent of sanctions relief, etc. – the need for congressional oversight, advice and consent concerning any accord that flows from that agreement can no longer responsibly be denied. 

It would be a serious affront to the Constitution and to the American people were  an agreement of this potentially enormous strategic consequence not to be submitted for such action by the Congress.  Grievous insult would be added to injury should the United Nations Security Council instead be asked to approve it.

Again we thank you for your leadership in ensuring that the constitutionally mandated process for assuring quality-control on international agreements is followed in this case.  We urge you and your colleagues to insist on nothing less going forward.


cc:  46 other signatories of the Cotton Letter


Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
President & CEO
Center for Security Policy

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Former Deputy Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence

Lt. Col. M. L. “Buzz” Hefti USMC (Ret.)
Former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense,
Legislative Affairs

Admiral James A. Lyons USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief,
U.S. Pacific Fleet

Andy McCarthy
Former Chief Assistant United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

Fred Fleitz
Senior Vice President for Policy & Programs
Center for Security Policy

Clare Lopez
Vice President of Research & Analysis
Center for Security Policy

Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, USAF (Ret.)
Former Chief
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Lt. Col. Roy White (Ret.)
Chapter Coordinator
ACT! for America, San Antonio

Ambassador Eric M. Javits (Ret.)
PermRep and Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament
Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
Former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative
Chief U.S. Negotiator to the Geneva Defense and Space Talks

Admiral Tom Hayward USN (Ret.)

Honorable Allen B. Clark
Former Assistant Secretary
Department of Veterans Affairs

Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz
Former Inspector General of the Department of Defense

Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell
Former U.S. Ambassador
U.N. Human Rights Commission

Hon. Thomas W. O’Connell
Former Assistant Secretary
Defense (Special Operations)

Kenneth deGraffenreid
Former Special Asst. to the President,
For National Security Affairs, Reagan
Fmr Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, Policy
Fmr Deputy National Counterintelligence Executive

Richard A. Viguerie
Chairman
ConservativeHQ.com

Jay W. Dickey, Jr.
Former U.S. Representative
Fourth Congressional District, Arkansas

George Rasley
Editor
Conservative HQ.com

Allen Roth
Secure America Now

Scott Brauer
Navy SEAL Officer (Ret.)

Dr. Steve Greer
CSM, USA (Ret.)

Charles L. Sues
Colonel USA (Ret.)

Warren Elliott
Former Officer Lt., USN

Bob Rohrer
U.S. Marine Veteran

Russell Thomas
U.S. Army
Rachel’s Children International

Bruce Brotman
Former Senior Executive at FBI
Former Senior Executive at TSA

Wayne Ronald Boyles, III
Former Senior Legislative Assistant
the Late U.S. Senator Jesse Helms

C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Roger Noriega
Former Assistant Secretary of State
Western Hemisphere Affairs

Matthew Brooks
Executive Director
Republican Jewish Coalition

Noah Silverman
Congressional Affairs Director
Republican Jewish Coalition

David J. Frum
Author and Commentator

Starr Pitzer
President
Pitzer Group, Inc.

Tom Trento
Director
The United West

Rick Manning
President
Americans for Limited Government

Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness

Dr. Daniel Goure
Vice President
Lexington Institute

Morton Klein
National President
Zionist Organization of America

Daniel Pollak
Co-Director Government Relations
Zionist Organization of America

Joshua London
Co-Director Government Relations
Zionist Organization of America

Floyd W. “Wink” McKinnon
President
Cotswold Industries, Inc.

Seton Motley
Founder & President
Less Government

Oliver “Buck” Revell
Former Associate Deputy Director – Investigations
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Chairman, Board of Directors
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

Andrew Bostom, MD
Author, “The Legacy of Jihad”
“Iran’s Final Solution for Israel”

Robert Jackall
Willmott Family Professor
Williams College

Alice Linahan
Vice President
Women On The Wall

Judy Taibi
President
Ingenuity Partners

Phyllis Kaminsky
Former Director
United Nations Information Center

Stuart Kaufman
Coordinator of Special Operations, The United West
Columnist, Charleston Mercury

Jack David
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction & Negotiations Policy 

Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou
Author and Worldwide Leader
Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem,
Knights of Malta

Dr. Daniel Pipes
President
Middle East Forum

Daria Novak
President
Institute for American Politics

Penny Nancy
President
Concerned Women for America

J. L. Jackson
CEO (Ret.)
Fortune 500 Corporation

Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
  
Walter P. Stern
Chairman Emeritus
The Hudson Institute

Diana West
Journalist and Author
“American Betrayal: The Secret Assault
on Our Nation’s Character”

Ron Woodard
Director
NC Listen
  
Dee Hodges
President
Maryland Taxpayers Association

Linda Loomis, P.A.
Realtor
John R. Wood Properties

George A. Keyworth, II
Science Advisor to the President
(1981-1986)

Paula A. DeSutter
Assistant Secretary of State
Verification and Compliance (2002-2009)

Dr. Jack A. Milavic
US Army Retired
FFA and DOS Retired

Jeffrey W. Bayard
Publisher
Right Side News

Norman Jenulis
Retired Wall Street VP

Dr. Elie D. Krakowski
Former Special Assistant to
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense

Diana Denman
Former Reagan Appointee

Steven W. Mosher
President
Population Research Institute

Jen Bawden
Task Force on National and Homeland Security
Committee of the Secure the Grid Coalition

Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Senior Staff Write, WMD.com
Author, “ATOMIC IRAN: How the Terrorist Regime
Bought the Bomb and American Politicians”

Janet Lehr
Editor and Publisher
IsraelLives.org

Mitchell Counts
Associate Professor of Law
Belmont University College of Law

John Wohlstetter
Senior Fellow
Discovery Institute
London Center for Policy Research

G. William Heiser
Director, Arms Control Policy
National Security Council Staff

Mona Charen
Syndicated Columnist
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Irving W. Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Retired Chief Scientist
Dept. of Energy’s Remote Sensing Laboratory
Former Member of Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST)

Donna Laquintano
Assistant to Richard J. Fox

Stanley J. Horky
Manager and Owner
Program Initiatives, LLC

Scott Franklin
Franklin Consulting Works

Russell J. Ramsland, Jr.
Leader
Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum

Michael G. Hoehn, Esq.
Executive Director
Alliance for Vigilance

Sidney Powell
Attorney

Lawrence Kogan
CEO
Institute for Trade, Standards and
Sustainable Development (ITSSD)

Jack Park
Attorney

Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Nation

Ron Robinson
President
Young American’s Foundation

Brigitte Gabriel
Founder & CEO
ACT for America

Sarah Hart
Former Chapter Leader
ACT! for America, Pittsburgh

Debra Burlingame
Co-Founder
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America

Kristin Fecteau
Co-Founder
Campaign to Free America

Michael James Barton
Former Middle East Policy Deputy Director
The Pentagon

Melissa Ortiz
Founder and Principal
Able American

William H. Shaker
President
Rule of Law Committee

Ronald D. Rotunda
The Doy & Dee Henley Chair and
Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence
Chapman University

Gail Madden
Former Mayor Pro Tem
Highland Park, Texas

Roger Simon
President
PJ Media

David Webb
Sirius XM Patriot Talk Show Host

Scott Bradford
Owner
Bradford Rx Solutions, LLC

Joel Pollak
Editor-in-Chief and In-House Counsel
Breitbart.com

George Landrith
President
Frontiers of Freedom

Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Manhattan Institute

Clarice Feldman
Writer and Lawyer
The American Thinker

Janet Parshall
National Syndicated Talk Show Host

Rock Peters
Freelance writer
Knights of Columbus
  
Carol Tabor
President
Family Security Matters

Abigail Thernstrom
Adjunct Scholar
American Enterprise Institute

John Hinderaker
Powerline

Colin Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring

Andrew Hyman
Executive Director
The Institute for Intermediate Study (IFIS)

Lucinda Demick
Army & Air Force Exchange Services

Bill Bennett
National Talk Radio Host

Gary Bauer
Christians United for Israel

Chuck Muth
President
Citizen Outreach

Wilma Hall
Former White House National Security Secretary

Stephen Bryen
Former Undersecretary of Defense
For Trade Security Policy

Mary Beth Long
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

James Roche
Former Secretary of the AF

Jim and Judy Warner
Former POW Vietnam

Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Correspondent
Jewish Week

Richard Falknor
Publisher
Blue Ridge Forum

Susan Falknor
Publisher
Blue Ridge Forum
  
James Simpson
Freelance Journalist

Sandy Rios
Director of Government Affairs
American Family Association

Carol Greenwald
Former Commissioner of Banking
Massachusetts

Michael Ledeen
Freedom Scholar
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

A. Baron Cass, III
American Citizen

Darlene G. Cass
American Citizen

R.H. Pickens
American Citizen

Steven T. Carter
American Citizen

Russ Miller
American Citizen

Joy Miller
American Citizen

Mr. Steven Stern
American Citizen

Rael and Erich Isaac
Authors

Ned May
American Citizen

Orna Shulman
American Citizen

Matthew Landau
American Citizen

Magaly Jenulis
American Citizen

Pamela J. Jones
American Citizen

Fred A. Reitman, Ph.D., DABT
American Citizen

Judith M. O’Donnell, Ph.D.
American Citizen

Joseph T. Doyle, M.D.
American Citizen 

Chris and Tammy Kreif
American Citizens

Sofia Gallo
Princeton University

Theodore Furchtgott
Princeton University

Allison Berger
Princeton University
  
Noga Zaborowski
Princeton University

Kathleen McCreary
American Citizen

Donna Soloway
American Citizen

Karon Franklin
American Citizen
  
Elaine Conti
American Citizen

Rita O. Geismar
American Citizen
  
Anna Haim
American Citizen

Barbara McKinnon
American Citizen

Cynthia Grubb
American Citizen

Dennis Grubb
American Citizen

Dina Lewis
American Citizen